Yesterday morning around 4 a.m. my phone began to buzz frantically. Normally, if I get a 4 a.m. phone call it’s from an employee calling in sick, but it’s not enough buzzing to awake me. However, this particular morning was different. I had received many text messages, phone calls and Facebook messages, telling me to check out the Backstreet Boys Facebook page. I am a dedicated fan of the Backstreet Boys. My love affair with them started 22 years ago, and is still as strong as ever.
The frantic phone calls and text messages were to tell me that the Backstreet Boys had posted my tattoo to their official Facebook page, with 11 million followers. 24+ hours later and a whirlwind of messages and comments the post went viral with over 16,000 likes, over 600 comments and almost 400 re-shares, there are many lessons to learn from my experience.
Six years ago in Las Vegas I was dared to get an “I Love (in a heart shape) Backstreet Boys” tattoo. Four years ago I was rushed into emergency surgery, and upon recovery decided to be bold with the tattoo and add their portraits and signatures.
The idea originally popped into my head about 16 years ago in Las Vegas, while waiting for their concert to begin. During this time my sister and I had our Dad driving us through the west coast to follow the “Black and Blue” tour. The idea at that time was to have Kevin, Nick, Howie, Brian and AJ’s faces tattooed on my body. I sometimes get random spurts of ideas and then they are gone. This idea, however, stuck with me long after.
Going back to six years ago I found myself once again in Las Vegas during their “This is Us” tour. I had such a fantastic trip with some amazing memories that once again I threw out the idea of a tattoo, but this time the concept was smaller in proportions. However, this time I had a fiancé that dared me to get the tattoo, and me being not one to back down from a dare went through with a tattoo of a heart, and the logo of the band.
Fast forward to 2011. I was rushed into emergency surgery where I was left lifeless on an operating room table. After that experience I told myself that I would not live my life with regrets, and therefore finished my tattoo with the portraits of the Backstreet Boys along with their autographs. Go big or go home!
Be consistent. Be out there. Be persistent.
Over the past 22 years, I have been to over 50 of their concerts, and have been involved in every major piece of history that involves the Backstreet Boys. Consistency is important especially when it involves events that are cumbersome for most people. The cruise, the star event on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the 20th Anniversary party in Hollywood, and after parties are more than the average experience. For example, the cruises are hard to attend. Not only are they more expensive than a concert, but there is also travel costs to consider, and the amount of cabins available to the ratio of fans is tough. It is a blessing to be on the cruises, but being persistent about these events are key. Every opportunity I have to show the tattoo I do, and my fiancé is always willing to pull down my shirt to show people. I have had many people ask to take pictures of it, which I always welcome. The more exposure of the tattoo the better. These folks will then post it to their social media pages, and therefore their friends will see it too.
After I got the tattoo, I was worried that the band would think I was creepy and stalkerish (which I am not). Over Labor Day Weekend 2013, I sat down for three days thru, and wrote a book “The Girl With the Backstreet Boys Tattoo” to explain why I got the tattoo, and how influential the band, their lyrics and Backstreet friends have been in my life. To order a copy of the book visit –www.thegirlwiththebackstreetboystattoo.com.
About three weeks ago my fiancé and I attended the world premiere of the movie “Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of: The Backstreet Boys” documentary in Hollywood, California. Once again I was proudly displaying the tattoo for all to see. Many people again ask to take pictures of it. The guys are fantastic with the fans, and recognize the core group of people at these major events. We had a few days to spend in Hollywood. As luck, fate, the moon and the stars aligning would have it, we were at the Backstreet Boys star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame taking pictures when Brian Littrell and his family were just visiting the star. It is very rare to get a full 10 minutes to talk to your idol, but Robert (my fiancé) and I did. I showed Brian my tattoo (this being at least the third or fourth time), and the expression on his face was priceless. It even came down to him asking to take a picture of the tattoo with his cell phone. I had my cellphone out as well, and got an amazing picture with Brian pointing to himself on my tattoo. This just doesn’t happen. It was pure luck! I believe that this meeting with Brian is what prompted the post on the official Facebook page.
Be Thick Skinned
I’m not talking about literally being thick skinned here. A tattoo is a tattoo, and yes they hurt! What I mean by this is to be bold, while not letting other people’s negative comments or suggestions get in the way. I’ve learned over the years that people will always have an opinion. These opinions, good or bad, are no reason to stop promoting, stop sharing, or stop engaging in what you are passionate about.
At the end of the day, I did not get my tattoo to appease anyone. I got it because when I’m 80 years old, I want to look over my shoulder and remember all the good times with the band, with friends who share a similar interest, memories of the tour, and the lyrics and the meaning it holds for me.
Over the years I have had the opportunities to learn areas of business that I normally would not get to experience. About two years ago I helped publish a book and from that learned the steps necessary to publish and promote the book. I love to be social. I love to connect with fans not only on a technology basis but everyday interaction. It is why I go out of my way to comment and like other people's posts and accept friend connections. My career has given me many opportunities to explore new technologies and learn more of an interactive CRM program and market using campaigns. By using these ideals at work I have used these ideals in my personal experiences with friends on social media. When my book was published I used these ideas as a way to promote my own personal book which gives me a sense of accomplishment seeing the post of the tattoo. I feel like the hard work was rewarded.